Sunday, June 28, 2015

Back to the Earth

A wise and great man once said, "when I think about what the Garden of Eden may have looked like, I picture Yosemite."

That man, was Jeremy Singleton.

When we were deciding on places to visit for this trip, for some reason Yosemite didn't generate much buzz. We knew it was a beautiful national park, and definitely a landmark site for our country.

…and then we saw it.

We were lucky to have an awesome tour guide for this trip. You could easily tell he was passionate about this history of Yosemite and he genuinely enjoyed seeing people experience the natural beauty.

Just getting to Yosemite was a great start. The slow ride up the winding roads, climbing higher and higher in elevation made each passing minute a prettier view than the previous.

Once we arrived, we went on the best hike we've ever been on. Natural beauty surrounded us with each step. We were able to walk around (and through) giant sequoias, see a few wild animals, enjoy a picture perfect lunch by the river, watch a few crazy people rock climbing, and of course, take in magnificent views of the infamous Half Dome.

This water was very cold.

Can you spot the rock climber?
Can you spot the rock climber?

Words and pictures just really aren't good enough to truly describe the beauty. There's something about un-touched nature that draws you in. It amazes us how perfect nature is. How it resets itself and automatically does whatever is necessary to continue life.

We both agreed visiting Yosemite was the highlight of our trip. We honestly just didn't expect to be completely stunned by it's beauty. We're so glad we were able to experience Yosemite and can't wait to someday visit again!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sippin' on Wine and Havin' a Good Time

We're not big drinkers, especially when it comes to wine, but everyone told us that we HAD to go to Napa Valley.

So we did.

And to our surprise, it was AWESOME! We had the best time visiting Sonoma and Napa Valley at three lovely vineyards; Nicholson Ranch Winery, Madonna Estate and Sutter Home Winery.

We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge heading north to California's wine country as we listened to our tour guide who knew all things wine. (No seriously, this guy knew EVERYTHING about wine, and wasn't afraid to share his knowledge.) We weren't much help when he was quizzing the group on wine trivia so we enjoyed the view of the rolling hills and vineyards instead. Our first stop was in Sonoma at Nicholson Ranch Winery. We happily tasted three different wines while walking through the vineyard viewing the growing grapes.

Next, we were lead to Madonna Estate in Napa where we walked through wine cellars and learned different techniques of tasting wine.

All that wine was making us tipsy! (not really) Lunch was needed and lucky for us, it was next on the agenda. We stopped in Yountville at V Marketplace for some panini's and window shopping. We were so happy to shed our long sleeves and sweaters for some sunshine and warmer weather!

Our last stop was at Sutter Home Winery where we tried not one, not two, but FIVE more glasses of wine. At this point all the wine was good :) We enjoyed walking through their celebrity rose garden and browsing through their gift shop.